November 07, 2018

Home Decorating For Kids: My Daughter's Jungle Room Makeover!

Hello, Creatives!

I'm sharing with you my latest creative home decorating project, my youngest daughter's new African jungle safari themed bedroom, complete with a new mural!

The mural requests were: jungle themed and needs cheetahs and a python in it.

This post contains affiliate links (see bottom of post for explanation).

The big paper mache tree was made a while ago in my girls' previous bedroom, but as they're growing older I felt they needed their own space and so a new bedroom was made free, and the tree found it's new location in this room. I have received many questions about the construction of the tree in the past so I will elaborate on the how-tos in a future blog post.

I'd always dreamed of doing up my own kids rooms before we even had kids. The problem is they're so quickly growing and won't be kids for much longer, so I thought, it's now or never!

My youngest used to have a pretty white iron bed, which didn't really fit into the new bedroom's theme. Husband wasn't keen to buy a new bed considering she had one already that was working perfectly fine. Then by a strange coincidence, a friend showed me a photo of the bed below at school one day saying she was getting rid of it, and would I like it, FOR FREE. She also threw in the green wool rug AND the 10 metres of white fabric. Friends that declutter are the best! Thanks, Steph!

I tea-stained the fabric by soaking it in the washing machine with all of the tea bags from my canister brewed in boiling water and then tipped into the mix. After 24 hours of soaking, I put on a spin cycle. I didn't bother rinsing as I wanted to keep as much of the staining in as I could. 

I then sewed the fabric into a tent to fit over the bed. That sounds so simple, but it was blood, sweat, and tears! I remembered whilst sewing why I tried to con my Mum into making it for me, with no luck. (She is such a good sewer though, it would have been a piece of cake for her.)

Someone feels right at home in her new safari tent bed. My daughter likes it too! :)

The gorgeous snow leopard art print on the wall is by the super talented Sofia Moore. I absolutely love how it's a snow leopard, but it has prettiness about the illustration too. Because even though my little girl is into leopards and pythons (bats, lizards, and spooky movies) she is also very much into pink, sparkles, and pretty too! When my daughter saw this print, she made cutesy noises and wanted to cuddle the leopard :)

The tree needed some paper mache repairs to it and a bit of fresh paint. It's big enough for a kid to sit and stand in, and the little 'windows' have ledges so that toys can sit in them. The kids can also peer out of them from the inside, too. 

Oh, hello there little tiger!

The room is now perfect for my girl's ever-growing cat soft toy collection :)

I didn't want to cover the whole wall with the mural, as I wanted some space for furniture underneath.

A handmade mini tree ornament we found at the local Arts Market doubles as a jewellery holder.

I found both the curtains and the vines on eBay for a steal. Other than buying a tonne of paint to cover the previously dark walls (about 5 freaking coats!), this project was pretty budget friendly.

I recorded the whole painting of the mural in time lapse! Which you can see on my very first youtube video:

The curtains were such a happy find. They are just cheap ones but they really compliment the room and fit the theme.

Detail of a corner with some personalised touches below. My girl's treasured Steve Irwin shirt from the year she raised money for wildlife as a Wildlife Warrior, a little shadow box for collections (also from Steph), and a customised anime picture from a good friend.

I also painted ombre walls in the colour of a pale African sky. (Which would have matched my original African plains theme, but whilst we were buying paint youngest informed me it needs to be jungle themed. Oh well, go with the flow!)

I had such fun decorating this room!

I have a lot of work ahead of me completing new bedroom #2 for my eldest daughter, my new studio (as we're doing a room swap), and the main bedroom that the husband and I have just moved into. Oh my! Almost makes me want to sit in bed and binge watch Netflix it's so overwhelming!

The old suitcase used as a side table belonged to my Grandpa. A sentimental touch :)

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our new African-jungle-safari themed kids room as much as I enjoyed making it. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below.


Jules :)

*Affiliate Information: Affiliate links help me earn small commissions on products (at no extra cost to you), which helps support my love of blogging and sharing creative things. I only ever recommend or link to products that I'm genuinely into.

October 29, 2018

Bunny Turns Ten! And Bonus DIY Party Favor craft Tutorial!

Hello Creatives!

Bunny turned 10! I can't believe it! So we had a special celebration, and I wanted to share a tutorial for the party favor craft we did at the party.

First up, here's the bunny cake that I spent a whole day on making! I found a beautiful cake on Pinterest and set out to recreate something similar. I've never piped icing flowers before, but I had a piping set, the will, and then a bit of searching how to pipe flowers on you-tube and I was ready to go.

The cake was marbled pink inside, and I also cut out a chunk out from the center and filled it with baby marshmallows. 

Grab 'em while you can!!

Here's an aerial view of the top of the cake...

The cake below was my inspiration, but the link on Pinterest didn't go anywhere. If this is your cake, or you know who's it is, please let me know so I can credit it.

The nibbles table...

In lieu of lolly bags (whose kids need extra sugar after a party!?) we completed a craft activity which I finished up whilst the kids were busy so they could take them home with them when they left.

We used stamps, beads & patterned buttons to stamp into flattened disks of polymer clay. I found I had to roll the clay out for the girls to keep a nice even shape.

We poked holes through the top with something sharp. A skewer would work well. 

After the girls finished stamping their pendants, I baked the clay in the oven. We used white Sculpey; it's easy and quick to get soft and usable.

After they baked and cooled I took orders for colours, and painted them all over. I then took a damp tissue and wiped away the excess colour, leaving the paint to sit in the recessed areas to make the texture stand out.

I added jump-rings to each pendant and a bit of coloured cord. They were a hit and I don't think the lolly bags were even missed!

I could've done the painting with the kids too, but we just ran out of time. We had some farm animals (including bunnies of course) at the party for a couple of hours so that was our main activity.

We've also recently had our other daughter's party, so I will share details of that soon. (It was Harry Potter themed.)

Now to rest and recover, and get back to normal life!


Jules :)

October 12, 2018

Art Journaling Prompt

Hello Creatives,

It's art journaling prompt/ sketchbook time!

This project is in a mixed media art style and pretty easy, so it could be tried with kids in an art class as well. I created this as an example for my art class in the small group of kids that I teach, I will let you know if it's a success!

I think sometimes all you need to get going in your art journal is some instructions or a few prompts to follow.

So, I have created this for you today. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to see what you come up with!

You will need:

-Art journal/sketchbook
-Scrapbook papers
-Mod Podge
-Back & white print out of yourself or a loved one
-Acrylic paints
-Matte painting medium (I love to use gloss but I find it makes the pages stick in a sketchbook)
-Paint Pens

I began by sticking various pieces of scrapbook papers onto the pages. I had some scrappy bits that my art-class-kids had messed up. But not to worry, that adds to all the layering and textural effects! Tear or cut them up. Torn edges look good. Don't get precious :)

I paste the back of the papers with mod podge first, press them down, then paste more mod podge over the top. This helps to minimise wrinkling.

Cut around your black and white figure print out and paste onto the pages where you'd like it to be.

Then using medium & paint, add washes over the top varying from transparent to opaque. In some places the scrapbook paper gets completely covered. I added some petals around the 'love you more' piece, then painted in some dots and splodges.

Next up, take a small paintbrush and add some detail with a darker colour. I added outlines of a flower, but you could do anything here. You could add words, or shells, or toadstool for example. If you look at the last photo, I have added 4 points of interest with some visual space in between around the figure. 

I also added a wash of pale yellow over the cardigan, and painted some pink cheek circles in :)

Add more paint and washes if desired. I used a white paint pen to bring some texture back into the clothing.

Add some more medium-paint-mix here using darker colours thinned out quite a bit, and rub back, manipulate and push the medium around using a tissue. This creates some extra depth and texture.

Last of all, when it's completely dry (don't be impatient like me and ruin your paint pens), take some paint pens and doodle over the top however you would like.

All done! What I love about a set of "instructions" for art journaling/ sketchbook work, is that you can take some of the decisions and fear away from what to do, take the cues and just enjoy the creative process.


Jules :)

September 20, 2018

Craft: DIY Resin Pendants

Every now and then I craft a batch of these resin pendants using various methods, and I’m sharing with you today how I’ve made these hand-painted necklace pendants.

You will need:

There are so many brands of resin to use. I’ve been using one called “Glass Coat”. They are sold as a two-part epoxy kit that you mix together. The individual brands will state on the bottles whether they are suitable for coating. 
-Wide wooden stirrer
-Wooden craft disks (I used 1 1/2”)
-Acrylic Paint
-Sealer (I used a water-based gloss varnish)
-Necklace or cord and closure of your choice
-Small propane torch
-E6000 glue

First, seal your wooden disks using gesso.

Once dry, paint them however you like. I just "doodle painted". I had no plan; I just started painting. If you don’t like anything you’ve done, just paint over it! There’s no pressure here, and that’s the beauty of acrylics :) 

Paint the backs of the pendants in a solid colour.

Once my designs were dry, I sealed them using the gloss sealer front, back, and sides. 

Leave to dry.

Now, mix your resin. Pour the two parts of your resin into a disposable container, and mix following the directions on the bottle of your particular brand using the wooden stirrer. 

Place your pendants on some paper (baking paper provides extra protection if you need it) to protect your working surface. Pour the resin on, or ‘spoon’ on like I have in the photo using my stirrer stick, and gently coax the resin up to the sides of the disk using the stirrer. The surface tension keeps the resin from dripping over the sides, although unfortunately that sometimes happens!

Using the propane torch, quickly run over the resin close to the surface, but not touching the resin with the flame. This will pop any little air bubbles.

Leave in a dust free area to cure. I place a large lid over my work to keep dust off. You just have to make sure the lip is deep enough so it doesn’t touch the pendants.

Glue bails on the pendants using E6000 glue.

Once the glue is dry, thread your pendants onto cord or necklace, and enjoy!

Jules :)

September 05, 2018

Creative Life Round Up!

Hello creative friends! What have I been up to?

Sorry it's been a while, I think I'm way overdue for a catch-up :)

I have started a ceramics class, which actually only has two weeks left for the term. I am totally smitten by working with clay. I really felt I wanted to learn, as I couldn't remember all the clay joining rules and techniques that I've learned in the past, and wanted to make sure I didn't make something and have my work explode along with blowing up other people's work that might happen to be sitting next to mine in the kiln.

I've done one class per week so far and it's given me enough knowledge of the basics to start creating.  I can see you could study pottery for years and still be learning.

I've purchased some of my own supplies so I can carry on learning ceramics at home (thank you, youtube!)

I also think it's a perfect craft for holding my attention. As I suffer from craft- attention- deficit- disorder (alongside many of you I'm sure) and struggle to commit to any one thing, I think that the excitement of opening a kiln and getting to see what comes out might just be enough to keep me coming back for more. I am really into it. I even dreamt about glazing last night!

So yesterday I got to pick up my first two finished pieces! A little mini pinch pot, and this texture-decorated tea light holder. I played around with the tea light holder to see if I could add pieces on that didn't fall off in the kiln, and they didn't, hooray!

A new DIY craft tutorial I've been working on involves cement & creating something for the garden, oooh! *rubs hands together* :)

Some table bling... from a while ago, but I love the photo!

This illustrated quote available as a print in the shop. "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Drawn using coloured pencils and acrylic paint. A reminder to myself that sometimes I need to stop thinking about what projects I'm working on and just get working! This would look great in a plain frame, but if you're over-the-top like me and feel more is more, an ornate frame would work just as well.

And an image from my sketchbook, just to pretty up the post a bit more :) 

I'm also running a weekly after school kids art class, which has taken up a fair bit of my time too, planning and getting things ready for that through the week. And researching how to teach and manage a kids class room! I get all the art stuff, that is covered, but class room management!? Holy moly..

So, I'll have some more clay stuff soon. Who knows where I'm going with this! I'm also entering into the Illustrators Australia & New Zealand 2018 Awards, with an unpublished illustration (pictures to come). Also- a chook pen reno coming up! Hopefully with the arrival of spring, sunnier days and longer light hours, I'll be less tired and more motived to create more.

Hope you've enjoyed my update, 

Jules :)


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